You all may now exhale.
Serge Ibaka's game-winning three-point attempt at the buzzer clanked off the back of the rim, and the Memphis Grizzlies escaped Oklahoma City with a 91-89 win following a wild fourth quarter that featured no shortage of clutch threes from both sides. Here's my three takeaways from the win that took the Grizzlies to 6-0 on the season:
1) Vince Carter is not afraid to shoot
Carter has had a slow start to the season, shooting 37 percent from the field and 31 percent from three, but don't tell him that.
Carter entered the game late in the first quarter, and then proceeded to launch seven of the Grizzlies' next 11 shots. He missed the first few and some could be considered less than ideal (a pull-up three in semi-transition with a man in his face), but got into a rhythm and finished with eight points, three rebounds, two assists and a steal on 3-9 shooting in 19 minutes of action.
The Grizzlies need Carter to be a major scoring threat off the bench, so it's an encouraging sign that some early season shooting struggles haven't deterred him from looking for his shot. He's taken some tough looks, but sooner or later the open ones are going to start falling.
2) Memphis dominated the turnover battle
In the first half alone the Grizzlies forced 11 Oklahoma City turnovers, and did so by living in the passing lanes and stealing the ball seven times before the halftime break. That trend continued in the second half, and by the time it was all said and done the Thunder turned the ball over 20 times, resulting in 17 Memphis points.
The Grizzlies finished the contest with 10 steals, including four from Tony Allen and two from Zach Randolph. In a game decided by only two points, the Grizzlies most likely would've been dealt their first loss of the season if not for dominating the turnover margin.
3) The Grizzlies win despite a quiet offensive night from Marc Gasol
For the most part Marc Gasol was effective on the defensive end, finishing with three blocks and nine rebounds, but the same cannot be said for his offensive output. Gasol shot just 4-11 from the field for eight points, and looked out of sorts throughout the night. He bricked a couple of his signature mid-range jump shots off the backboard, and mishandled the ball on one of Memphis' final possessions, nearly costing the team the win.
Despite the rough night, Gasol hit one of the biggest shots of the night during the third quarter, this turnaround jumper that silenced the Oklahoma City crowd and halted a Thunder run: